Georgia Joint Specialists is now Total Joint Specialists!

Hip Pain Waking You When You Sleep on Your Side? We Can Help

When pain in your hip keeps you from getting a good night’s sleep, you want a solution. The problem may be as simple as a side-sleeping position, but hip pain that wakes you at night can also be a sign of an underlying condition.

The skilled team at Total Joint Specialists, formerly known as Georgia Joint Specialists, is here to evaluate your hip and determine whether your pain can be addressed conservatively or needs a more complex treatment plan.  

Read on to learn about the possible causes of your pain and what we can do to help. 

Sleep position or mattress quality

Sleeping on your side can be aggravating to your hip because of your mattress. If yours is too soft or too hard, it could aggravate tissue and make your hip sore after a night on your side. 

Though your body is used to sleeping on your side, your hip might not like it. Try placing a pillow between your knees to make your sleep position more comfortable or, if you can switch to your back. 


The bursa is a small sac filleed with a small amount of oil that allows soft tissues to move past bone. When these bursa become inflamed, you have a condition known as bursitis — which can cause hip pain at night. 

Suspect that your hip pain is due to bursitis when you have pain on the outside of your hip and upper thigh. The pain may start sharply and be tender to the touch — especially when you lay on it. You’ll notice the pain more after sitting for a long time or using your hip to squat, climb stairs, or walk. 

Bursitis pain actually worsens at night. 


Osteoarthritis affects as many as one in four people and is the most common type that affects the hip. Rheumatoid arthritis and other less common forms of arthritis can also cause pain at night.

Hip arthritis can cause pain while sleeping on your side. You’ll notice pain in your groin, buttocks, thigh, and knee. The pain can wake you up from sleep, rise up when you walk short distances and aggravate when you bend over. 

You may notice stiffness after sitting for a while or a crackling sound in the joint.

Other possible medical causes

Tendinitis is inflammation of the soft tissue that attaches muscles to bones. If your hip is affected, you may notice your buttocks or groin feel achy and painful. 

Sciatica can also cause pain while you’re trying to sleep. Sciatica shows up as a tingling or burning in your buttocks that can extend down your leg, even into your foot. 

Pregnant women also may experience hip pain at night, especially in the third trimester. 

How we can help your nighttime hip pain

If you’re committed to sleeping on your side, do try placing the pillow or a foam wedge between your knees to keep the hips aligned. You may also place a wedge-shaped pillow under your hips to provide cushioning. Over-the-counter anti-inflammatories can help relieve pain, too. 

If these immediate solutions don’t work, physical therapy, corticosteroid injections, and arthritis medications. Conditions like tendonitis, pregnancy (with delivery), and sciatica usually resolve on their own with conservative treatments. We can help you manage discomfort as you heal.

Of course, if your hip pain is due to chronic inflammation associated with arthritis, or other hip damage, surgery may be your best choice. Arthroscopic surgery to address tears of tissue within the hip joint or to remove the inflamed bursa may help. 

In many cases, arthroplasty, or total hip replacement, is your best choice. 

If you have hip pain that persists and makes sleeping difficult or impossible, call or click online today to schedule a visit at your nearest Total Joint Specialists office. The practice, formerly known as Georgia Joint Specialists, has offices in Midtown Atlanta, Alpharetta, Braselton, Canton, Cumming, Gainesville, Lawrenceville, and Woodstock, Georgia.

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